Why I Am Prochoice
Why I Am Prochoice
Why are you prochoice? We asked people from around the world, from diverse backgrounds, experiences, cultures and religions, to answer that question. I want to let you know why Catholics for Choice is prochoice.
At Catholics for Choice, we approach the word “choice” from an ideological standpoint. As a result of our faith and our political convictions, we believe in the power of choice.
As Catholics, we believe in conscience. We believe that everyone has a God-given voice that resonates within us and guides us in our decision-making. Nothing and nobody less than God can take that voice away from us. Choice respects each person’s right and responsibility to listen to our inner voice when making moral decisions, including the one to continue or end a pregnancy.
Our work to make sure that women can make their choices a reality is rooted in our faith’s tradition of social justice. We are called by our faith to advocate most strongly for policies that protect and lift up all people, particularly the marginalized and the poor. Our religious beliefs compel us to recognize the dignity and rights of all people, including that they deserve respect and equal access to reproductive healthcare, irrespective of race, color, class or creed. No matter what she decides, a woman should be able to carry out her choice safely, with dignity and without having to circumvent coercion, stigmatization or unnecessary obstacles. A commitment to choice means that we make sure there is a level playing field, so the ability of a woman to act on her choice isn’t limited by economic, social or political factors. It means striving to ensure that you can carry out your choice as easily as I would like it to be to carry out mine.
At its very core, our commitment to choice is rooted in trusting women and in the deepest respect for personal autonomy. We believe it is the best, most just way to approach advocacy on public policies that deal with these very personal decisions. To be prochoice is to acknowledge that we cannot make a critical life decision for anybody else, just as they cannot do so for us.
In its insistence that personal autonomy is nonnegotiable, choice applies to each and every person in each and every situation. It does not change even as political climates, public perceptions and social realities come and go.
This is why we are prochoice. It is why we lead the way on issues like public funding for abortion and access to later abortion. It is for these reasons that Catholics for Choice will continue to talk about these issues and why we will ask you to talk about them with us. I hope you find this issue and our colleagues’ stories stimulating, inspiring and challenging, and that you visit catholicsforchoice.org/prochoice-essays to tell us why you are prochoice.